It's Just a Horse Fly: chapter 1
By Qwill R. Brennan (warning: bug horror)
The rain was a devastating thing, destroying cars, and people, bringing them back to the earth they originally came from. some were lucky enough to Jam themselves into the nearest building avoiding the catastrophe. Vivian Cheever was such a lucky case as she hid in trader Joe’s. listening to her music. the only means she had to distract herself from the agonizing screams of civilians. Her phone rang begging for her to pick up.
Vivian rolled her eyes frustrated. The call interrupted her music. she grasped the phone reluctantly putting it to her head.
"Hello?" she said in the best manner she could muster. A man's voice echoed from the other line.
"Honey? are you okay I saw the news! I just wanted to make sure your alright." the man said.
"I'm fine dear, who are you again? I forgot." Vivian said peering out the window for a moment. A long black rope grabbing a passerby who barely made it to the trader joes. That's right, the sky, there was a cavis in the sky, a hole, it wasn't supposed to be there. then the rain came, and the ropes. she was lucky enough to already be in the building.
"honey it's John, your husband. thank god, I was worried, its been hell up here. don't worry I got the dog's inside. we're all in the stable right now." the man said Vivian focused all her attention on her phone hoping to forget the terror outside.
"oh, right, I forgot I was married..." Vivian looked towards a group of people huddled behind a shelf of organic snack foods.
"I know honey, where are you right now?" John whimpered Vivian looked around quickly reminding herself.
"I'm in Trader Joe’s, I think, it's the one by the gas station," she said quietly as she looked at her feet. That's when she saw it. a small fly sat by her ankle. Vivian screamed as she pulled away from the small bug the group flinched as they turned to the terrified woman.
"honey what's wrong?" John asked, Vivian moved towards the registers the fly crawling slowly towards her.
"It's back John... th- th-"
"Oh honey it's just a horse fly...do you have your medication right now?" Vivian looked at her note bookkeeping one eye on the awful creature.
"I took my last pill this morning, at 12:15," she said reading the entry she wrote that day.
"oh god, hang on I think it's starting to let up-"
"NO JOHN DON'T GO OUTSIDE!!!" She screamed as she hid herself behind one of the clerk counters.
"Alright, I'll wait till it's done. just- remember to breathe. stay on the phone, we'll get through this." Vivian sighed as she listened to her unnamed hero's voice.
"thank you whoever you are... are we married?"
"yes, honey." the man said reminding her.
"what's your name?" she asked keeping her eyes on the phone.
"John," the man said in a calming voice.
"Just focus on me, okay?" Vivian crouched behind the counter focusing on her husband's voice, his sweet, calming voice. reminding herself she was married to this wonderful man as she ignored the screams outside.
her eyes wandered along the ground the horse fly once again coming into view its prism-like eyes stared at her. A small ant made its way across the ground towards it. the fly peered at the small ant. Its maw opened shoving the ant into its mouth. Vivian backed further away from the fly.
"Honey? honey are you there?" the voice on the phone asked.
"it’s back," Vivian whispered in hopes the fly wouldn't hear her.
"Honey, it’s just a horse fly." the voice said comfortingly. Vivian shook her head as the bug peered at her half of the ant still sticking out of its mouth.
"but it- it ate something an ant, it ate an-" Vivian made the mistake of looking out the window, the chaos outside raining down. her eyes wide with terror as she looked outside.
"oh my god... I think something’s wrong, who is this?"
"it’s John," the voice responded softly. Vivian clutched her knees as she pushed herself further under the register.
"John there’s something wrong with the rain, it’s melting the cars, people are being yanked into the sky and the fly ate an ant. Flies don't eat ants, John!"
"I know honey, I know, just focus on my voice. the fly isn't real, remember, it’s not there." John said reminding her. Vivian looked at the fly as it stared at her. repeating a simple sentence in hopes of reminding herself.
"it’s not real, it’s not there, it’s not real, it’s not there, it’s not real, it’s not there."
"that’s right," John said in a gentle voice.
"you told me you took your medication this morning. Do you remember which one?" Vivian flipped through her notebook landing on the date.
"I took, my haloperidol today," Vivian whispered focusing on the book.
"It doesn’t seem to be working. Looks like we're going to have to switch again." John sighed
"Who are you?" Vivian asked trying to focus on the voice.
"how do you know so much about me?" Johns’s voice echoed through the phone.
"I'm your husband, we're married," he said, that’s right, she was married, Vivian was married.
"well I'm glad I married you, you seem like a nice man," Vivian muttered trying not to look at the fly. one of the staff workers made their way over to Vivian. their feet coming closer and closer to the horsefly. Vivian looked between the two.
"NO DON'T STEP THERE!!!" Vivian screamed as the employee walked closer to the fly. the employee stopped backing up for a second as they stared at Vivian. John’s voice echoed through the phone.
"what happened?" John asked Vivian shook as she clutched the phone.
"they almost stepped on it..."
"the horse fly?" John asked
"yes, the horse fly. The horse fly, John, John it’s back!" Vivian stuttered in realization.
Vivian looked around it wasn't just the one on the floor. She watched as the little blood-sucking monsters littered the food aisle. First they started with the bread, then the fruit, then the orchids.
Then the people, oh, the people, Vivian watched as the eyes of everyone around her grew bigger splitting and splitting until the eyes combined into a metallic-looking prism. The flys they were here, hiding amongst the people. The employee walked to the other side of the counter careful not to step where Vivian told them not to. The Horsefly on the ground crawling closer and closer to her.
"Are you okay mam?" The employee said hesitantly placing a hand on her shoulder. Vivian nodded turning around. Tears fell from her eyes as she looked into the employee’s prismatic eyes. She screamed backing into the window glass of the store, store? what store? where was she? Buster? Wheres Buster?
“WHAT DID YOU DO TO BUSTER” Vivian screamed looking around desperately. The employee gave her a odd look. The rain, he was stuck in the rain, he must be. His leg, it was broken, she had to help him! She had to save him from the rain!
“BUSTER!!!!” Vivian ran towards the door the employee grabbed her. His prismatic eyes focused on keeping her from leaving.
Vivian watched as a third terror took to the streets, all pressing against the glass windows of the building. Thousands of horseflies, blocking the windows and doors keeping Vivian from escaping the terrors of the store. Horse flies hiding behind the snack aisles running through the streets, terrorizing the world, terrorizing her mind. Thousands of horse flies covering her legs, arms, and face determined to devour her. Vivian let out a bloody scream as she struggled against the swarm.
“Mam, it’s alright, calm down mam!!” the employee managed to say through the woman’s panicked flailing.
"honey whose that?" John asked
"the horse fly! it just told me its alright! it’s lying! it’s going to eat me, John! Like that ant! Like buster! Like Martin! Like the whole world! THEIR GOING TO EAT ME!!!" she screamed, the employee looked at Vivian confused their eyes reflecting each part of the store. She shoved her hand into his face trying to keep the terror’s maw away from her. As the bugs crawled over her skin. Trying to seep into her eyes and mouth. The phone echoed a calm voice spoke doing its best to hide its panic.
"Honey calm down… Buster’s fine, I put him in the shed a little bit ago, he’s in here too…” A soft winey made its way through the speaker. Vivian knew that voice. It was Buster! That’s right, she forgot, she left Buster at home, after her shift ended. She went to get some apple crisps and the storm came. Vivian breathed deeply as the voice spoke once more.
“Honey, put me on speaker so I can talk to the horse fly." Vivian hesitated as the flies covered her hand as they held the phone over her head. She stretched her finger out barely touching the speaker button.
"Hello?" John said confirming he was on speaker. The employee responded his reflective eyes peering at the phone.
"Hello, who's this?"
"My name's John, John Cheever. listen closely, my wife, she suffers from hallucinations and memory loss. I have no idea what’s going on but her medication isn’t working. she's in the middle of an episode, right now. Honey remember, it’s not real, it’s not there." Vivian repeated a simple phrase to remind herself. As each horsefly disappeared from her body.
"it’s not real, it’s not there, it’s not real, it’s not there." The people’s faces shifted back to normal as the wall of bugs slowly departing into the sky.
"good, you’re doing great honey," John said comfortingly the employee's big eyes looked at Vivian a look of worry hidden inside as they began to shrink. the employee’s eyes returning to how a person's eyes should look. Vivian cried relief washing over her as she clutched the voice of her savior.
"thank you, I hope your wife's doing okay," Vivian muttered sympathetically, John chuckled.
"You’re my wife honey." Vivian looked at the phone happily surprised.
"really? I forgot I was married," she said apologetically
"I know, honey. you wouldn't happen to know when this is going to stop would you?" John asked the employee. the employee looked around making sure everyone else was calm, and Vivian didn’t break anything.
"I don't sir, I have a friend who works downtown, I'm keeping in touch with her in case anything changes." The employee turned his attention to Vivian who kept her eyes on the phone.
"mam, I think we should move away from the windows, just in case something... happens" Vivian nodded slowly making her way back to her feet. The employee lead her to the back of the store careful to avoid where Vivan claimed to see the fly. Vivian looked at the Employee gratefully.
"I’m sorry I hit you. You’re very nice, what’s your name?" the Employee smiled as they made it through the wine aisle.
"I'm Lux, whats yours?" Vivian smiled keeping her eyes on the phone in her hands.
"V-Vivian, I think."
"That’s right honey, your name's Vivian." The phone's soft voice confirmed.
"and your john?" Vivian asked trying hard to remember.
"You’re my... Brother?" Vivian muttered as the employee sat her down by the free sample bar in the back
"I’m your husband, honey," John said calmly
"I didn't know I was married!" Vivian responded surprised John chuckled.
"I know, honey, stay inside. I'll come to get you when the rain ends."
Vivian, held the phone as person in a Hawaiian shirt with a name tag that said Lux, sat beside her. she didn't know who either of these people were. all she knew was the flies were gone. She was safe now.
The screams of people echoed through the sky. not down here though, down here, she was safe.
(I hope you enjoy the first of Its Just A Horse Fly, if you did, please feel free to leave a tip, or like the story. It helps support me.) :)